Cathy Lee Morrison
Monty Roberts said in his book that he used his ‘join-up’ technique with wild deer, and in so doing has tried to make himself sound like some kind of deer miracle worker. I must say his statements on this matter are fairly ridiculous. And I know that because I have deer in my area and I didn’t have to use any special ‘join-up’ technique to tame them! I’m in California too.
Providing you have an orphan or an injured deer to start with, they have to be one of the easiest wild animals in our area to tame.
Food, space, and shelter is very plentiful at horse establishments. We had a doe deliver her fawns in one of our vacant horse shelters one year.
First of all, many are semi-tame anyway, spending a lot of their eating time in and around horse farms because of the ample food that is fed to horses and cattle (herbivore foods). They suit a deer just fine.
So, why move? Once domesticated, they are very hard to return to the wild, if not impossible. Our little doe used to come right into our house and lie down near the fire place. We tried to return her to the wild with her own kind, but they would not accept her and she refused to interact with them.
From everything that I’ve read and know about Monty Roberts, his deer story is just another example of a little bit of truth supplemented by a hefty percentage of fabrication to make it sound miraculous. It isn’t.
I gave up on Monty Roberts a long time ago after seeing some of his demonstrations. They’re called “Monty’s Jokes” in my area. No one takes him seriously.
Note: The author of this article is a horse farm operator in Northern California.